The Magic Of MDF: 4 Tricks To Unlocking Sky-High ROI

Marketing development funds (MDF) empower MSPs to grow their business by leveraging funds from vendors to host events and campaigns to generate revenue. However, getting the funds is just the beginning. To be successful, it’s essential to first craft a detailed plan. Consider the following aspects of such a plan: metrics of success, desirable outcomes, ROI, and expected attendance. Understanding your audience is also pivotal. To be successful, you need to tailor your events and campaigns to match their demographics. The more creative you are with MDF, the higher the ROI.

“With MDF, the world really is your oyster,” explains Miles Walker, channel development manager, Kaseya. “In the past few months, I have had the opportunity to host partners’ clients at a brew pub and got to be front and center at the College World Series at a trade show. Next month, we have a Casino Night planned and a whiskey tasting—paired with cybersecurity products for good measure, of course. There really is no better way to thank your existing clients and talk to new ones than by partnering with us on an MDF event.”

Here Are The Top Four Areas For MSPs That Are Generating The Highest ROI:

1. Live Events

Live events are once again the premiere platform for high registration and turnout. Such events can range from happy hours, sporting events, lunch-and-learns, and more—you name it! They provide you with the opportunity to showcase to current and potential customers and partners that you as an MSP can be of value. Consider the following live-event experience funded by MDF:

“We have found Datto to be a great partner over the years,” says Christopher Miller, VP, sales and marketing, ATB Technologies. “Their MDF program is central to our growth strategy. Quarterly, we host experiential events for our clients and prospects. Most recently, we partnered with Datto—utilizing the MDF program—to host our guests in a suite at a St. Louis Cardinals game, preceded by a short presentation and on-field experience, with one lucky guest throwing out the first pitch. Experiences like this are only made possible with strong partners like Datto and their MDF program.”

2. Digital Marketing Campaigns

Digital marketing, particularly LinkedIn, has surged over the past few years. Individuals are starting to grasp the immense potential of digital campaigns for MSPs. Similar to live events, digital marketing campaigns can be anything—but creativity is key! Pro tip: Engage your clients and partners. Their involvement not only fosters loyalty but also attracts new customers and expands the campaign’s digital footprint.

3. Trade Shows/Expos

Trade shows and expos are regaining their former glory. These events place you directly before clients, facilitating face-to-face interactions about your products and services. Meeting your current clients in-person also offers the opportunity to gather testimonials and personal recommendations. You’re going to these shows to be an extension of your brand. Take the time to leverage the different vendors and booth location. Position yourself for the best outcome.

4. Webinars

Webinars consistently rank among the most successful events. They can range from virtual conferences, customer training, and, most recently, virtual panels that are held with other community-based businesses. By discussing relevant topics, these panels allow businesses to promote themselves, enhancing the credibility of MSPs.

Using MDF strategically goes beyond just getting the funds; it demands thoughtful planning tailored to audience demographics. The good news is there is an array of options available for MSPs to utilize these funds, each with their own benefits. Whether you’re planning a hosted event—digital or in-person—a campaign, or a trade show appearance, the magic lies in building those relationships and making the most of every opportunity. 

To learn more about MDF and all the information you need to supercharge your MSP on the go, listen to this episode of Kaseya’s Powered Services Podcast, hosted by Dan Tomaszewski.

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.



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